According to MLBTradeRumors, Joey Votto is nearing an agreement with the Reds on a long term contract. Votto is currently under team control through 2013, and he’s due $26 million over the next two years as part of the deal he signed last winter.
It will be interesting to see what kind of deal Votto ended up getting. Ryan Zimmerman, another quality player with the same level of service time, signed a six year, $100 million extension a little over a month ago, but Zimmerman is coming off a down year and has a lot of value tied up in his defense, which doesn’t generally pay as well as just hitting the ball really hard. Matt Kemp got $160 million over eight years, but he was also only under team control for one more season, so he had more leverage in negotiations than Votto did. Kemp is also coming off a monster season and plays an up-the-middle position, so you’d think his deal would be some kind of ceiling for Votto.
However, with the timing of the report coming so close to the massive sale price of the Dodgers, you have to wonder if the Reds got inspired to kick things into high gear after they saw what the new owners were willing to invest in Los Angeles. Votto almost certainly would have been a target acquisition for LA’s group, and Reds may have decided to get something done now before they have to deal with competition from rich new owners out west.